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Inventory of the Matthew Keller Papers, 1851-1961
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Los Angeles from 1850 to 1880, particularly with deeds and land papers for the Los Angeles area (a few of these relating to petroleum development); the wine industry; photographs of the Los Angeles area at the turn of the century; biographical information on Matthew Keller and Henry Workman Keller
Matthew 1 Keller was a Los Angeles pioneer businessman, vintner, and ranch owner who was born in Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland, in 1810. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1832 came to New York. He moved to Texas in the mid-1830's then spent the next twelve to fifteen years in Mexico. While in Guadalajara he met Andrew A. Boyle (who later was to become owner of the Los Angeles property developed by his son-in-law William H. Workman, Jr., into Boyle Heights). Keller and Boyle returned to the United States and later the two married sisters. Upon his return to the States, Keller went first to New Orleans, then in 1849, to San Francisco. He finally settled in Los Angeles in 1851, opening a general merchandise store at the corner of Los Angeles and Commercial streets. He purchased property on Alameda and Aliso, where the Union Station is now located. There he built his home, planted fruit trees and vineyards. In 1852 he established his winery and brandy still, to be known as the Rising Sun and Los Angeles Vineyards winery. He had warehouses in San Francisco, New York, and Philadelphia. In addition, he experimented with various agricultural crops--fruit trees, castor oil plants, hops, and cotton.1The spelling "Matthew" has been adopted for this collection since most reference works use that form. His grandson John Mathew Keller entitles his biographical sketch "Mathew Keller", so the family may have preferred the spelling with single "t". Keller himself used either the signature "M. Keller" or the Spanish form "Mateo".
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